Kirby Adventure is a cancelled platform game that was announced for the Nintendo GameCube at E3 2005, but only little information were revealed since then and it was absent from the show floor at E³ 2006. The levels were rendered in 3D, but the game play was still a side-scroller, much like in Kirby 64. Kirby was able to ride on the backs of up to three other characters. Those characters could have been played by other humans in a 4 players multiplayer coop mode. Kirby was also able to get abilities from partners or enemies, like in Kirby Super Star.
On May 26, 2006 IGN released an article which states that a number of games, including a “generically labeled Kirby game” would have been released for the Wii console. The article also states that this information was gathered from the Japanese release list found on the corporate site of the Japanese Nintendo webpage.
As of September 14, 2006, a list of upcoming games in Japan for Wii has including the title (Hoshi no Kirby). While the list is labeled with the Wii name, a number of titles that were previously listed as being released on other Nintendo systems are listed on it as well. For a further note, quite a number of games have shifted from one system (presumed cancelled) and released on another. The December 2006 issue of Nintendo Power removed the game from the upcoming GameCube titles list, but did not place it in the upcoming Wii titles list. [info from Wikipedia]
During E3 2011, it was announced that a new Kirby Wii was coming out. This was to be the final product of what was started and known as Kirby’s Adventure for the GameCube. From the new Kirby Wii trailer and the old Gamecube trailers these games seem to run with a similar 3D engine.
As of January 28, 2011,the game was officially re-announced under the tentative title Kirby Wii, with a projected release date of fall 2011 in North America. Its final titles were announced in the following months, and was finally released for the Wii on October 2011 as Kirby’s Return to Dream Land.
Thanks to an Iwata Asks article, we can read more about the development and cancellation of a series of Kirby prototypes for the GameCube:
Kawase: Yes. To begin by introducing myself, I was originally a designer on a team called Jack and the Beanstalk Project and worked on games like Pokémon Snap4. Now I’m a producer in Tokyo. As for that 11-year gap between home console Kirby games, right after Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, we immediately began working on a new Kirby game. That was during the time of the Nintendo GameCube system, and screen shots were shown at the E3.
Iwata: “Were shown”? You sound so detached about it! (laughs)
Kawase: Oh, believe me, I’m not! (laughs) But after that, it never got updated, and I’m sure some people would wonder and ask, “Whatever happened to that?” To some, it had become an object of mystery.
Iwata: The release date went unannounced forever.
Kawase: Yes. Actually, there are three lost Kirby games. The first one is the one that pictures were shown of at E3. It was a Kirby game based on the concept of four-person simultaneous gameplay. That was when I learned how difficult it is to make a game that is both multi-player and single-player.
Kawase: That’s right. The second one was an experiment with extremely challenging gameplay that placed Kirby in 3D space and allowed players to freely move around. But unfortunately, we weren’t able to achieve the quality we hoped for and it never reached completion.
The third one involved an animated Kirby sort of like a pop-up book. We renewed the Copy Abilities, and tried to power it up. We spent 11 years… making and abandoning these three games.
Iwata: During that time, screen shots were shown and release dates went unannounced for a long time. Then the Nintendo GameCube system changed to the Wii console. Miyamoto-san says that video games are something you never really complete. It’s hard when a game simply refuses to come together.
You can find more about the released Kirby series in the WiKirby!
Thanks to Juan and Vahkiti for the contribution!